Nigeria’s leading survey and polling firm, NOIPolls Ltd has said that unemployment is still a major challenge in Nigeria and that employment ranks among the top three areas they expect the government to focus its attention.The NOIPolls said in its report released on Wednesday in Abuja in commemoration of this year’s Workers’ Day, that its 4-year average (2016-2019) on public opinion polls on issues facing Nigerians, showed that employment (28%) ranked second behind security (29%), while the economy is third (21%).
It noted that although the issue of unemployment is second on the list, this area has been one of the greatest challenges crippling the Nigerian economy as it has maintained an upward trend within the years in view.
The report quoted the figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which stated that the unemployment rate in Nigeria increased from 22.70% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 to 23.10% in the 3rd quarter of 2018.
According to the report, in view of the Workers’ Day celebration, the onus is on the government and other stakeholders to create jobs for Nigerians, especially through creating an enabling environment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to thrive.
“This will go a long way in ensuring that Nigerians explore various opportunities in tackling the issue of unemployment. Also, it is vital to reflect on workers’ welfare specifically on the issue of minimum wage as it plays an important role in income distribution as well as poverty rate.
“Although the minimum wage in Nigeria has recently been increased from ₦18,000 to ₦30,000, this amount may be negligible in raising the standard of living of the beneficiaries considering the economic situation of the country,” the report said.
The report noted that as Nigerians join the world in celebrating Workers’ day, it is pertinent for the government to address issues pertaining to job creation and the welfare of Nigerian workers.
“Job creation challenge in Nigeria can be effectively tackled through a strict adherence to and execution of the different strategies and policy framework that have been put in place to move the employment drive in the country forward.
“Some of these strategies and policy documents include the National Employment Policy (NEP) of 2002, the national action Plan on Employment Creation (NAPEC), National Youth Policy (NYP) of 2009 as well as the National Policy on Education (NPE),” the report added.